Companion nips

The Oxford Companion to Beer, edited by Garrett Oliver (and to which I’m a contributor among many esteemed colleagues), features nearly 900 pages about every topic pertaining to beer. You’d think there’d be a multipage entry for nips. Shockingly, you’d be wrong. But being the OCB, our little friends make their presence known on page 151 under bottle sizes.

The reputed pint (bottles)…had been largely replaced in the UK at the beginning of the 20th century by bottles in Imperial pints and quarts, 568 and 1136 ml, respectively. However, stronger ales and barley wines were frequently sold in bottles holding one-third of a pint, 6.66 fl oz, known as a “nip.”

Martyn Cornell, author of this entry (and the OCB’s ensuing OCBWiki) and blogger of the erudite and amusing Zythophile, continued:

In the United States, standard bottle sizes varied between 325 and 385 ml…Other bottle sizes included the ‘split,’ 6 US fl oz, for stronger beers.

Cheers to our little friends making a little splash in this oceanic compendium of beer knowledge.


About Brian
Author of beer books "Red, White, & Brew" & "Oregon Breweries." Championing responsible packages for responsible beer lovers. #Nips!

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